The White House engagement so far ahead of the State of the Union is unusual. Lawmakers usually aren’t looped in on the discussions until days before the president delivers the speech.
“The agenda that the president will present in the State of the Union will be the focus of a sustained effort over the course of the year, and we’re hopeful that those on Capitol Hill who share these priorities will be similarly committed,” said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman. “I anticipate they will be.”
Still, the single most important thing that Obama will do is raise money for the Democratic party committees, White House officials said.
He’s previously shown faint interest in congressional or gubernatorial politics. In 2012, the president was running for reelection and didn’t raise money for House and Senate Democrats. In 2010, as Democrats struggled with the backlash to Obamacare, the paramount concern was saving the House — which didn’t happen.
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